When I had a real job, I never thought I would miss going to the office. In fact, to this day, offices give my hives. I even refuse to meet my accountant at his—I insist he meet me at a bar. There are several reasons for that—the whole office-phobia being just one. The mere thought of the IRS drives me to drink. Yes, in a former life, I was a tax attorney…who worked in an office. Given my limitations, perhaps that wasn’t the wisest choice.
No, writing is the perfect job for me—and I’m darn lucky to have it.
Except for one thing: I miss the people.
I’m a gregarious sort…even a bit of a ham. And imaginary friends take me just so far. Eventually, I need a serious dose of friends of the real kind.
So periodically I pack the computer, park the imaginary friends, and trot off to a writers’ conference. Right now I am in Colorado Springs at Left Coast Crime basking in the joy of being surrounded by hundreds of people similarly afflicted. Of course, it’s hard to tell the fact from the fiction, and you better bring your “A” game if you want to trade war-stories with a bunch of glib wordsmiths, but that is all part of the fun and a much-needed recharge.
Left Coast Crime is particularly fun because it is a bit smaller than the huge national conventions so the writers and readers mingle a bit more easily. This conference, like the national conferences, changes locations from year to year, which changes the mix. For instance, last March we all gathered in Sacramento, this year Colorado where cowboy hats are a lot more prevalent.
One of the great things about these conferences, besides catching up with friends and making new ones, is, in addition to wearing my author hat I also get to be a fan.
I just love writers… always have. Intellectually curious, from varied backgrounds, and with a variety of neuroses, writers are endlessly entertaining. Here are some of the best:
The gang! Writers in the group: Paul Levine (second from the left), Chuck Rosenberg (seated) and Chuck Greaves (standing on the right)
Brad Parks: Winner of the Lefty for THE GIRL NEXT DOOR.
Yes, I’m hoping to gather by osmosis some of their magic for Lucky:) Actually, I never turn down the opportunity to hug a cute guy or a good friend.
Chuck Greaves: nominated for the Rocky for HUSH MONEY.
Parnell Hall: nominated by me for all-round great guy…his writing isn’t bad either:)
Laura Lippman…yes, I was tongue-tied.
Hanging around all these wonderful writers, recharged my batteries, and stoked the creative fires.
Left Coast Crime 2014 is in Monterrey, CA. I can’t wait.
What are your favorite conferences? Where should I take Lucky next?